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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 28 March, 2020

Top Justice official for Guerin grilling today, Commissioner also facing TDs' questions

The election over, TDs and senators were back at work yesterday. Today, the much-anticipated committee appearance of Brian Purcell will provide the main focus in Leinster House.

Brian Purcell (centre) alongside former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Brian Purcell (centre) alongside former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and former Justice Minister Alan Shatter.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?

Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.

So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…

3 things we’ll be keeping an eye on

  • 5pm:Brian Purcell, the top official at the Department of Justice, faces questions from a panel of TDs and senators today. Purcell had requested not to be questioned about the events surrounding the departure of former Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, but the Justice Committee has insisted it will ask any questions within its remit. (Committee Room 2)
  • 4.30pm: The Guerin Report is also on the Dáil’s agenda today. Initially set up to investigate a number of allegations of serious garda misconduct made by whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe, the report has now led to a statutory inquiry. TDs have their say on it for three hours this evening. 
  • 2pm: The Ambassador of Nigeria Felix Yusufu Pwol gives an update on the situation in the country to the Committee on Foreign Affairs this afternoon. It comes in the context of the continuing effort to rescue over 200 abducted schoolgirls.

Everything else happening in the Dáil

  • 09.30am: Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore (yes, he’s still the Minister) takes questions pertaining to his Department. 
  • Midday: Leaders Questions: TDs question the Government on all manner of things… Expect plenty of attempted post-election points scoring.
  • 1.51pm: Topical Issues: Members raise issues of concern to their constituents and the wider electorate. What issues, you ask? Details will be published here
  • 7.30pm: More debate on Mick Wallace’s bill aimed at strengthening the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) and setting up a new Garda Siochána Independent Board.

Everything happening in the Seanad

  • 10.30am: Work commences in the upper chamber, with the Central Bank Bill 2014 the main focus of the morning.
  • 12.45pm: Senators discuss issues facing the maternity departments at Sligo, Mayo, Letterkenny and Portiuncula hospitals.
  • 3pm: Statements on the ‘Youth Guarantee’ employment programme, followed at 5pm by work on the second stage of the Companies Bill 2012. The day concludes with members conducting their own version of Topical Issues: Matters on the Adjournment. 

Everything else happening in the committees

  • 09.30am: Minister Leo Varadkar’s before the Transport Committee first thing. They’ll be discussing the forthcoming Transport, Telecommunications and Energy EU Council meeting. Committee Room 4. 
  • 1pm: The Education and Social Protection Committee gets an update on the implementation of the ‘Youth Guarantee’ employment scheme. Committee Room 3. 
  • 2pm: Fun times for the Global Taxation sub committee this afternoon. They’ll be discussing “the global corporate/multinational taxation architecture and Ireland’s relationship with that tax architecture”. Committee Room 4.
  • 2pm: Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan will be before the Justice Committee this afternoon to discuss the effectiveness of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. Committee Room 2.
  • 4pm: There’s a behind-closed-doors meeting of the Dáil’s Procedure and Privileges Committee in Committee Room 2. The Public Service Oversight and Petitions Committee also meets at the same time, in Committee Room 3.

Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House today:

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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